One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog

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Wake Up to the Richness of Life of Motherhood
Guest Author: Nicole Johnson
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The following is an article interview featured in MomSense by Women of Faith comedian, Nicole Johnson.

In what ways has having a child changed your relationships?

nicole johnsonI've never experienced such a major shift in priorities. I always was a terrific multitasker; I figured I'd able to hold a baby on my hip and stir a pot and write a few lines in my journal. But now I either have to be writing or cooking or spending time with Elliot, because when he needs me (which is most of the time), I don't like to say, "Mommy's at her computer now, honey. I'll get back to you." I can't do it all.

How do you keep your marriage strong?

Roy and I have adopted the Nike slogan—Just do it. We just set aside the time to do what we know is healthy for our relationship. So when we get stressed, we return to what we know is good and safe. We love dinners together at restaurants, so we keep our date night. We both enjoy outdoor activities, so we'll pack up and get out somewhere together, or with Elliot. Doing those things restores us. But talk about being ground down! Especially that first year with a baby. You're just going through the motions and loving it—or trying to love it—while wondering, Was this what I really wanted?

Most moms sometimes feel that way—but might be afraid to admit it. I think moms believe it somehow diminishes their love to say parenting is hard. The truth is, motherhood's the hardest thing I've ever done. I've never been more tired in my life, I've never felt less like myself—and yet, I've never loved anything more. Most things I love are not easy. And it's hard to major on the majors and let other things be minor. That challenge teaches me an enormous amount.

Such as?

I'm not the first mother to say this, but often I hear God telling me the same thing I'm telling Elliot, almost at the same moment. For example, several months ago, I was driving somewhere with a passenger, and Elliot was in the back seat, very upset. I wasn't sure what to do, so I finally pulled over, got into the back seat with him, and said, "Buddy, I can't get you out of here, but I can sit here with you." Right then I experienced an epiphany about the hard times in my life. I heard God say, "Nicole, I couldn't get you out of that, but I sat there with you." Most of the time, all Elliot needs is my presence. That's what I need from God, too. When Elliot takes one bite of something and says "more" even before he's finished, I think, Elliot, how can you want more when you haven't even finished what you have? Then I hear God say, "Nicole, how can you want more when you haven't even enjoyed what you already have?" I have so many moments like that every day. So while I'm sure I'm teaching Elliot things, he's teaching me a lot, too!

What advice would you give a mom who feels frazzled, frumpy or forgotten?

For the rest of this article, go to MomSense.

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